Player Profile: Amy Glen
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 23:04
One-tenth of a second may not seem like a significant amount of time to many — it’s less time than it takes to blink. But for senior Amy Glen, that fragment of a second has made all the difference.
I recently got to sit down with Glen and talk about the ups, downs and close finishes from her past four years as a Nordic skier for the University of Vermont.
Glen recently completed her final season as a Catamount in the best way possible — by winning a national championship. Her win in the women’s 15k classic at Bohort Ranch in Montana was the cherry on top of a solid day of skiing for the UVM ski team, as it helped earn them the NCAA championship.
After earning countless honors over the span of her college experience, Glen’s whole career came down to this last race facing Dartmouth’s Sophie Caldwell.
“At the start of the race, my goal was to just ski it really relaxed and stay calm the whole time,” said Glen.
This plan worked until the end of the race drew closer; Glen managed to get a slight lead heading into the finish, until Caldwell passed her for a split second. But, fortunately enough for Glen, she “sprinted and managed to get ahead by two inches,” — a final push that made a big difference in who was standing on that podium at the end.
Glen learned to ski at the young age of two on manmade hills in her backyard. Glen, a native Alaskan, transferred to UVM after spending her freshman year as an Alaska-Anchorage Seawolf. Even as a first-year, Glen earned top rankings like a fourth place finish in the U.S. National Championships in the classic sprint in 2009.
Glen was drawn to the Green Mountain State by UVM’s strong reputation of having a competitive ski team mixed with good academics. It also didn’t hurt that Glen comes from a long line of Vermont alumni, many of whom still live in the area, which makes Vermont feel like a home away from home.
Before college, Glen attended high school in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. A resilient skier for her high school team, Glen also skied for a competitive club team on the side. Being a part of both teams was demanding, but was something that she loved to do.
By the time she left Anchorage, Glen was already a two-time Alaska state high school champion, and held other honors such as being selected twice for all-state.
Glen’s multitude of high school successes continued throughout her years at the UVM as she appeared in multiple carnivals and finished in the top 10 in all seven races in which she competed in her previous season, as a junior.
In her senior year, Glen repeatedly came close to winning races, but the first place spot had never been hers.
It all came down to the final race in Montana — the last one Glen would ski for Vermont.
“It was definitely my best race,” Glen said. “Having my final race being the one that I finally won, well, I can’t really ask for anything better than that.”
Winning with a time of 53:25.1, Glen beat out Caldwell in what came down to a photo finish of mere inches and tenths of a second. After a moment, the realization set in: what was her final race at Vermont had just become her first collegiate victory.
“I can’t say I really led my team; we just had a strong team overall,” Glen said when asked about the win. “I hadn’t won any races going into the championship; I had been up there consistently but I hadn’t actually won one yet.”
Glen refused to take much credit for giving her team that extra push to get them to the top.
“My teammates who were also at the championships had won their races,” she said. “So I can’t really say that I lead them.”
Even with that modesty, Glen recently was nationally recognized by Sports Illustrated. Featured in the April edition of the sports magazine, Glen was awarded an honor that not many have been given — being named as one of Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crown.
Next year, Glen will continue her skiing career as a member of a professional cross-country ski team based in Craftsbury, Vt. As a member of the Nordic Ski Club, training will last throughout the year in preparation for competitions. This, however, won’t be a problem for Glen, who is eager to be a part of this new team.
“I’ll be living up there, training and doing some form of work,” Glen said. “I’m really excited.”
Glen has come a long way from when she started skiing in her backyard. Regardless of any highs or lows these past few years, Glen managed to go out with a bang and make a name for herself, and not just in Vermont, but across the nation.
The Vermont Nordic Ski Team may be losing one of their strongest skiers, but Glen’s legacy won’t be forgotten.